T-Mobile's G1 mobile phone debuted last week and critics have been quick to compare it with Apple's iPhone and RIM's BlackBerry. However, because there are many omissions, shortcomings and flat-out disappointments in Google's first foray into the mobile phone market, the G1 and Google Android aren't faring too well. Here's our round-up of the 10 biggest disappointments of the G1.
10. Multitouch MIA
A small oversight, but those familiar or in love with Apple's innovative multitouch interface will groan when they discover the same feature isn't present on the G1.
9. Accelerometer quirk The G1 includes an accelerometer, but it functions only when the keyboard flips out, not by tilting the device. So if you want to surf the web in widescreen, you must first double the size of your phone. Cosmetic differences such as this could spell 'selling point' or a 'walk-away'.
8. Uninspiring interface While it's not the ugliest kid on the block, the G1 interface doesn't 'wow' in any way. It's ok but its not quite what you'd expect from HTC's innovation and coming from under the shadow of Apple's obsessive aesthetics.
7. No video recording You'd think HTC would pack in some video recording capabilities with that 3.2Mp camera. It didn't, forgoing a unique opportunity to beat Apple at its own game - the iPhone does not support video recording either. If they'd snuck in that feature, some of the G1's other shortcomings would be more tolerable. As is, the newcomer is playing par for the course and not challenging mobile phone conventions.
6. Battery life lacking Talk-time on the G1 is standard: five hours. But the phone's stand-by time is a raging disappointment: the G1 can sit still for only 130 hours, compared to the iPhone's 300. And I thought my iPhone's battery was inadequate; this is almost unacceptable. So keep your charger handy, because you'll need it.
5. Skimpy Storage The G1 comes standard with 1GB of storage with an optional 8GB Micro-SD add-on. 8GB might sound like a decent number, but with competitors handling as much as 16GB built-in, the G1 becomes more of a money suck.
4. Stingy data cap Google on the go - but with a hard stop at 1GB. T-Mobile quietly announced a 1GB data cap on the G1. However, the iPhone offers "unlimited" data connectivity. Moderate to heavy data users will plow through T-Mobile's 1GB cap in no time at all, leaving them with 50Kbps. This is not so much a problem with the phone itself, but T-Mobile's stinginess is tied to the G1 and impossible to ignore.
3. Desktop synching absent Like the lack of Exchange server support, the absence of desktop synching makes it difficult to connect with Outlook. No desktop synching means no ActiveSync; no ActiveSync means millions of Outlook users are left out in the cold. The G1 is bad for business.
2. Wanted: 3.5mm headphone jack If I were going head-to-head with one of the biggest music giants in the world, I think I'd pack some tunes. Unfortunately the G1 neglected to include a 3.5mm headphone jack, relying instead on a USB port. That means buyers of the G1 will have to purchase a headphone jack adaptor to enjoy their Amazon.com MP3 store on the go. This omission is so foolish it's almost hilarious - who thought this could possibly be a good idea?
1. No exchange T-Mobile and Google will be hard-pressed to compete with RIM's BlackBerry or any other modern smartphone, given the absence of Exchange server support. This omission seems particularly foolish given the G1's built-in qwerty keyboard and 3G connectivity. The iPhone's touch keypad is awkward and messy for people writing email on the go; with the qwerty, the G1 had a primo opportunity to hone in on Blackberry's turf. Google reps said they expect third-party application developers will create Exchange support soon enough, but its absence from the initial rollout sets the G1 behind competition just one day after its release.